You are on page 1of 45

High Availability (AP SSO) Deployment Guide

Document ID: 113681

Contents
Introduction Prerequisites Requirements Components Used Conventions Topology New HA Overview HA Connectivity Using Redundant Port on the 5500/7500/8500 WLC High Availability Connectivity Using Redundant VLAN on WiSM2 WLC Introduction of New Interfaces for HA Interaction Configure HA from the CLI Configure HA from the GUI Configure HA from the Configuration Wizard Configure HA from NCS Upgrade the WLC in HA Setup Upgrade Procedure in HA Setup Important Guidelines before Initiating a WLC Upgrade in HA Setup Download/Upload Facts in HA Setup Failover Process in the HA Setup Steps to Simulate Box Failover HA Facts Maintenance Mode AP SSO Deployment with Legacy Primary/Secondary/Tertiary HA AP SSO Deployment in Mobility Setup Licensing for HA Pair One WLC has a valid AP Count license and the other WLC has a HA SKU UDI Both the WLCs have a valid AP Count license One WLC has an Evaluation license and the other WLC has a HA SKU UDI or Permanent license Glossary Related Information

Introduction
This document provides information on the theory of operation and configuration for the Cisco Unified Wireless LAN Controller (WLC) as it pertains to supporting stateful switchover of access points (AP SSO). The new High Availability (HA) feature (that is, AP SSO) set within the Cisco Unified Wireless Network software release version 7.3 allows the access point (AP) to establish a CAPWAP tunnel with the Active WLC and share a mirror copy of the AP database with the Standby WLC. The APs do not go into the Discovery state when the Active WLC fails and the Standby WLC takes over the network as the Active WLC. There is only one CAPWAP tunnel maintained at a time between the APs and the WLC that is in an Active state. The overall goal for the addition of AP SSO support to the Cisco Unified Wireless LAN was to reduce major downtime in wireless networks due to failure conditions that may occur due to box failover or network failover.

Prerequisites
Requirements
There are no specific requirements for this document.

Components Used
The information in this document is based on these software and hardware versions: WLCs 5500 Series, 7500/8500 Series, and WiSM2 APs 1130, 1240, 1250, 1040, 1140, 1260, 2600, 3500, 3600 Series APs, and 1520 or 1550 Series Mesh APs (MAPs) The information in this document was created from the devices in a specific lab environment. All of the devices used in this document started with a cleared (default) configuration. If your network is live, make sure that you understand the potential impact of any command.

Conventions
Refer to Cisco Technical Tips Conventions for more information on document conventions.

Topology
This document uses this network topology.

New HA Overview
The new architecture for HA is for boxtobox redundancy. In other words, 1:1 where one WLC will be in an Active state and the second WLC will be in a Hot Standby state continuously monitoring the health of the Active WLC via a Redundant Port. Both the WLCs will share the same set of configurations including the IP address of the Management interface. The WLC in the Standby state does not need to be configured independently as the entire configuration (Bulk Configuration while boot up and Incremental Configuration in runtime) will be synched from the Active WLC to the Standby WLC via a Redundant Port. The AP's CAPWAP State (only APs which are in a run state) is also synched, and a mirror copy of the AP database is maintained on the Standby WLC. The APs do not go into the Discovery state when the Active WLC fails and the Standby WLC takes over the network's Active WLC. There is no preempt functionality. When the previous Active WLC comes back, it will not take the role of the Active WLC, but will negotiate its state with the current Active WLC and transition to a Standby state. The Active and Standby decision is not an automated election process. The Active/Standby WLC is decided based on HA SKU (Manufacturing Ordered UDI) from release 7.3 onwards. A WLC with HA SKU UDI will always be the Standby WLC for the first time when it boots and pairs up with a WLC running a permanent count license. For existing WLCs having a permanent count license, the Active/Standby decision can be made based on manual configuration. AP SSO is supported on 5500/7500/8500 and WiSM2 WLCs. Release 7.3 only supports AP SSO that will ensure that the AP sessions are intact after switchover. The Client SSO is not supported, which means all the clients with an exception of clients on WLANs configured for local switching on Flex APs will be deauthenticated and forced to rejoin a new Active WLC. MAPs, which are treated as mesh clients on RAP, are not deauthenticated with AP SSO.

HA Connectivity Using Redundant Port on the 5500/7500/8500 WLC


5500/7500/8500 WLCs have a dedicated Redundancy Port which should be connected back to back in order to synchronize the configuration from the Active to the Standby WLC. Keepalive packets are sent on the Redundancy Port from the Standby to the Active WLC every 100 msec (default timer) in order to check the health of the Active WLC. Both the WLCs in HA setup keep track of gateway reachability. The Active WLC sends an Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) ping to the gateway using the Management IP address as the source, and the Standby WLC sends an ICMP ping to the gateway using the Redundancy Management IP address. Both the WLCs send an ICMP ping to the gateway at a onesecond interval. It is highly recommended to have backtoback direct connectivity between Redundant Ports. Here you can see the Redundant Port Connectivity between 5500 WLCs in an HA Setup:

Here you can see the Redundant Port Connectivity between Flex 7500 WLCs in an HA setup:

Note: A direct physical connection between Active and Standby Redundant Ports is highly recommended. The distance between the connections can go up to 100 meters at per ethernet cable standards.

High Availability Connectivity Using Redundant VLAN on WiSM2 WLC


WiSM2 WLCs have a dedicated Redundancy VLAN which is used to synchronize the configuration from the Active WLC to the Standby WLC. A Redundancy VLAN should be a Layer 2 VLAN dedicated for the HA Pairing process. It should not be spanned across networks and should not have any Layer 3 SVI interface. No data VLAN should be used as a Redundancy VLAN. Keepalive packets are sent on Redundancy VLAN from the Standby WLC to the Active WLC every 100 msec (default timer) in order to check the health of the Active WLC. Both the WiSMs in a HA setup keep track of gateway reachability. Active WLC sends an ICMP ping to the gateway using the Management IP address as the source, and the Standby WLC sends an ICMP ping to the gateway using the Redundancy Management IP address. Both the WLCs send an ICMP ping to the gateway at a onesecond interval. In order to achieve HA, WiSM2 WLCs should only be deployed in a single chassis or deployed between multiple Catalyst 6500 chassis using VSS. This diagram shows HA Connectivity in a single chassis and extending Redundancy VLAN in a multiple chassis VSS setup:

Caution: The Redundancy VLAN should be a non routable VLAN. In other words, no layer 3 interface should be created for this VLAN and can be allowed on VSL Link to extend HA setup between multiple chassis in VSS setup. It is important to make sure this VLAN is dedicated for the HA process and is not part

of any Data VLAN, or else it may result in unpredictable results. Note: The Redundancy VLAN should be created like any normal Data VLAN on IOS switches. Redundancy VLAN is configured for redundant port on WiSM2 blades connected to a backplane. There is no need to configure an IP address for the Redundancy VLAN as it will receive an autogenerated IP which is discussed later in this document.

Introduction of New Interfaces for HA Interaction


Redundancy Management Interface The IP address on this interface should be configured in the same subnet as the management interface. This interface will check the health of the Active WLC via network infrastructure once the Active WLC does not respond to keep alive messages on the Redundant Port. This provides an additional health check of the network and Active WLC, and confirms if switchover should or should not be executed. Also, the Standby WLC uses this interface in order to source ICMP ping packets to check gateway reachability. This interface is also used in order to send notifications from the Active WLC to the Standby WLC in the event of Box failure or Manual Reset. The Standby WLC will use this interface in order to communicate to Syslog, the NTP server, and the TFTP server for any configuration upload.

Redundancy Port This interface has a very important role in the new HA architecture. Bulk configuration during boot up and incremental configuration are synched from the Active WLC to the Standby WLC using the Redundant Port. WLCs in a HA setup will use this port to perform HA role negotiation. The Redundancy Port is also used in order to check peer reachability sending UDP keepalive messages every 100 msec (default timer) from the Standby WLC to the Active WLC. Also, in the event of a box failure, the Active WLC will send notification to the Standby WLC via the Redundant Port. If the NTP server is not configured, a manual time synch is performed from the Active WLC to the Standby WLC on the Redundant Port. This port in case of standalone controller and redundancy VLAN in case of WISM2 will be assigned an auto generated IP Address where last 2 octets are picked from the last 2 octets of Redundancy Management Interface (the first 2 octets are always 169.254).

Configure HA from the CLI


Complete these steps:

1. Before you configure HA, it is mandatory to have both the controllers' management interface in the same subnet: WLC 1

WLC 2

2. HA is disabled by default. Before you enable HA, it is mandatory to configure the Redundancy Management IP Address and Peer Redundancy Management IP Address. Both the interfaces should be in the same subnet as the Management Interface. In this example, 9.6.61.21 is the Redundancy Management IP Address for WLC 1, and 9.6.61.23 is the Redundancy Management IP Address for WLC 2. It also needs to be configured so that 9.6.61.23 is the Redundancy Management IP Address of WLC 2 and 9.6.61.21 is the Redundancy Management IP Address of WLC 1. Use this CLI in order to configure the Redundancy and Peer Redundancy Management IP Address: WLC 1

WLC 2

3. Configure one WLC as Primary (by default, the WLC HA Unit ID is Primary and should have a valid APBASE count license installed) and another WLC as Secondary (AP base count from the Primary WLC will be inherited by this unit) using the CLI in this step. In this example, WLC 1 is configured as Primary, and WLC 2 is configured as Secondary: WLC 1

WLC 2

Note: You do not need to configure the unit as Secondary if it is a factory ordered HA SKU that can be ordered from release 7.3 onwards. A factory ordered HA SKU is a default Secondary unit, and will take the role of the Standby WLC the first time it is paired with an Active WLC that has a valid AP Count License. If you want to convert any existing WLC as a Standby WLC, do so using the config redundancy unit secondary command in the CLI. This CLI command will only work if the WLC which is intended to work as Standby has some number of permanent license count. This condition is only valid

for the 5500 WLC, where a minimum of 50 AP Permanent licenses are needed to be converted to Standby. There is no restriction for other WLCs such as the WiSM2, 7500, and 8500. 4. After the WLCs are configured with Redundancy Management and Peer Redundancy Management IP Addresses and Redundant Units are configured, it is time to enable SSO. It is important to make sure that physical connections are up between both the controllers (that is, both the WLCs are connected back to back via the Redundant Port using an Ethernet cable) and the uplink is also connected to the infrastructure switch and the gateway is reachable from both the WLCs before SSO is enabled. Once SSO is enabled, it will reboot the WLCs. While it boots, the WLCs negotiate the HA role as per the configuration via Redundant Port. If the WLCs cannot reach each other via Redundant Port or via the Redundant Management Interface, the WLC configured as Secondary may go in to Maintenance Mode. Maintenance Mode is discussed later in this document. 5. Use the CLI in this step in order to enable AP SSO. Remember that enabling AP SSO will initiate a WLC reboot. WLC 1

WLC 2

6. Enabling SSO will reboot the WLCs in order to negotiate the HA role as per the configuration performed. Once the role is determined, configuration is synched from the Active WLC to the Standby WLC via the Redundant Port. Initially, the WLC configured as Secondary will report XML mismatch and will download the configuration from Active and reboot again. During the next reboot after role determination, it will validate the configuration again, report no XML mismatch, and process further in order to establish itself as the Standby WLC. These are the bootup logs from both the WLCs: WLC 1

WLC 2 on first reboot after enabling SSO

Note: Once SSO is enabled, the Standby WLC can be accessed via console connection, SSH/Telnet on service port, and SSH on the redundant management interface. WLC 2 on second reboot after downloading XML configuration from Active

7. After SSO is enabled, WLC is rebooted, and the XML configuration is synched, WLC 1 will transition its state to Active and WLC 2 will transition its state to Standby HOT. From this point onwards, GUI/Telnet/SSH for WLC 2 on the management interface will not work, as all the configurations and management should be done from the Active WLC. If required, the Standby WLC (WLC 2, in this example) can only be managed via the Console or Service Port. Also, once the Peer WLC transitions to the Standby Hot state, Standby keyword is automatically appended to the Standby WLCs prompt name.

8. Complete these steps in order to check the redundancy status: a. For WLC 1, go to Monitor > Redundancy > Summary:

b. For WLC 2, go to Console connection:

Note: Once SSO is enabled, the Standby WLC can be accessed via console connection, SSH/Telnet on service port, and SSH on the redundant management interface.

Configure HA from the GUI


Complete these steps: 1. Before you configure HA, it is mandatory to have both the controllers' management interface in the same subnet: WLC 1

WLC 2

2. HA is disabled by default. Before you enable HA, it is mandatory to configure the Redundancy Management IP Address and the Peer Redundancy Management IP Address. Both interfaces should be in the same subnet as the Management Interface. In this example, 9.6.61.21 is the Redundancy

Management IP Address for WLC 1, and 9.6.61.23 is the Redundancy Management IP Address for WLC 2. It needs to be configured on WLC 2 where 9.6.61.23 is the Redundancy Management IP Address of WLC 2 and 9.6.61.21 is the Redundancy Management IP Address of WLC 1. Enter the IP Address for both interfaces, and click Apply. WLC 1

WLC 2

3. Configure one WLC as Primary and the other WLC as Secondary from the Redundant Unit dropdown list. In this example, WLC 1 is configured as Primary and WLC 2 is configured as Secondary. Once configured, click Apply. WLC 1

WLC 2

Note: You do not need to configure the unit as Secondary if it is a factory ordered HA SKU ordered from release 7.3 onwards. A factory ordered HA SKU is the default Secondary unit and will take the role of the Standby WLC the first time it is paired with an Active WLC with a valid AP Count License. If you want to convert any existing WLC as a Standby WLC, do so by using the config redundancy unit secondary command in the CLI. This CLI only works if the WLC which is intended to work as standby has some number of permanent license count. This condition is only valid for the 5500 WLC, where a minimum of 50 AP Permanent licenses are needed to be converted to Standby. There is no restriction for other WLCs such as the WiSM2, 7500, and 8500. 4. After the WLCs are configured with Redundancy Management and Peer Redundancy Management IP Address and Redundant Units are configured, it is time to enable SSO. It is important to make sure that physical connections are up between both the controllers (that is, both the WLCs are connected back to back via Redundant Port using an Ethernet cable) and the uplink is also connected to the infrastructure switch and the gateway is reachable from both the WLCs before SSO is enabled. Once SSO is enabled, it will reboot the WLCs. While it boots, the WLCs negotiate the HA role as per the configuration via Redundant Port. If the WLCs cannot reach each other via the Redundant Port or via the Redundant Management Interface, the WLC configured as Secondary may go in Maintenance Mode. Maintenance Mode is discussed later in this document. 5. In order to enable AP SSO, select Enabled from the dropdown list on both the WLCs, and click Apply. After you enable AP SSO, the WLCs reboot and the default information is populated in other fields like Peer Service Port Ip, Peer Redundancy port Ip, and so forth.

WLC 1

WLC 2

6. Enabling SSO will reboot the WLCs in order to negotiate the HA role as per the configuration performed. Once the role is determined, configuration is synched from the Active WLC to the Standby WLC via the Redundant Port. Initially WLC configured, as Secondary will report XML mismatch and will download the configuration from Active and reboot again. During the next reboot after role determination, it will validate the configuration again, report no XML mismatch, and will process further in order to establish itself as the Standby WLC. These are the bootup logs from both the WLCs: WLC 1

WLC on first reboot after enabling SSO

Note: Once SSO is enabled, the Standby WLC can be accessed via console connection, SSH/Telnet on the service port, and SSH on the redundant management interface. WLC 2 on second reboot after downloading XML configuration from Active

7. After SSO is enabled, WLC is rebooted, and the XML configuration is synched, WLC 1 transitions its state as Active and WLC 2 transitions its state to STANDBY HOT. From this point onwards, GUI/Telnet/SSH for WLC 2 on the management interface will not work, as all the configurations and management should be done from the Active WLC. If required, the Standby WLC (WLC 2, in this case) can only be managed via the Console or Service Port. Also, once Peer WLC transitions to the STANDBY HOT state, the Standby keyword is automatically appended to Standby WLCs prompt name.

8. Complete these steps in order to check the redundancy status: a. For WLC 1, go to Monitor > Redundancy > Summary:

b. For WLC 2, go to Console connection:

Note: Once SSO is enabled, the Standby WLC can be accessed via the console connection, SSH/Telnet on the service port, and SSH on the redundant management interface.

Configure HA from the Configuration Wizard


Complete these steps: 1. HA between two WLCs can also be enabled from the configuration wizard. It is mandatory to configure the Management IP Address of both the WLCs in same subnet before you enable HA. WLC 1

WLC 2

2. Once the Management IP is configured, the wizard will prompt you to enable HA. Enter yes in order to enable HA, which is followed by the configuration of the Primary/Secondary Unit and the Redundancy Management and Peer Management IP Address. In this example, WLC 1 is configured as the Primary WLC, which will take the role of the Active WLC. WLC 2 is configured as Secondary, which will take the role of the Standby WLC. After entering the Primary/Secondary Unit, it is mandatory to configure the Redundancy Management and the Peer Redundancy Management IP Address. Both the interfaces should be in the same subnet as the Management Interface. In this example, 9.6.61.21 is the Redundancy Management IP Address for WLC 1 and 9.6.61.23 is the Redundancy Management IP Address for WLC 2. It needs to be configured on WLC 2 where 9.6.61.23 is the Redundancy Management IP Address of WLC 2 and 9.6.61.21 is the Redundancy Management IP Address of WLC 1. WLC 1

WLC 2

3. After you enable HA from the configuration wizard, continue to configure these legacy wizard parameters:

Virtual IP Address Mobility Domain Name SSID DHCP Bridging Mode Radius configuration Country Code NTP configuration, and so forth The WLCs will reboot after you save the configuration at the end. 4. While booting, the WLCs will negotiate the HA role as per the configuration done. Once the role is determined, the configuration is synched from the Active WLC to the Standby WLC via the Redundant Port. Initially WLC is configured, as Secondary will report XML mismatch and will download the configuration from Active and reboot again. During the next reboot after role determination, it will validate the configuration again, report no XML mismatch, and process further in order to establish itself as the Standby WLC. These are the bootup logs from both the WLCs: WLC 1

WLC 2 on first reboot after enabling HA

WLC 2 on second reboot after downloading XML configuration from Active

Note: Once SSO is enabled, the Standby WLC can be accessed via the console connection, SSH/Telnet on the service port, and SSH on the redundant management interface. 5. After HA is enabled followed by WLC reboots and XML configuration is synched, WLC 1 will transition its state as Active and WLC 2 will transition its state as STANDBY HOT. From this point onwards GUI/Telnet/SSH for WLC 2 on management interface will not work, as all the configurations and management should be done from Active WLC. If required, the Standby WLC (WLC 2, in this case) can only be managed via the Console or Service Port. Also, once the Peer WLC transitions to the STANDBY Hot state, the Standby keyword is automatically appended to the Standby WLCs prompt name.

6. Complete these steps in order to check the redundancy status: a. For WLC 1:

b. For WLC 2, go to Console connection:

Note: Once SSO is enabled, the Standby WLC can be accessed via the console connection, SSH/Telnet on the service port, and SSH on the redundant management interface.

Configure HA from NCS


Complete these steps: 1. Before you configure HA, it is mandatory to have both the controllers' management interface in the same subnet. WLC 1

WLC 2

2. Add both the controllers in NCS using their individual Management IP Address. Once added, both the WLCs can be viewed under Operate > Device Work Center.

3. HA is disabled by default. Before you enable HA, it is mandatory to configure the Redundancy Management IP Address and the Peer Redundancy Management IP Address. Both the interfaces should be in the same subnet as the Management Interface. In this example, 9.6.61.21 is the Redundancy Management IP Address for WLC 1 and 9.6.61.23 is the Redundancy Management IP Address of WLC 2. It needs to be configured on WLC 2 where 9.6.61.23 is the Redundancy Management IP Address of WLC 2 and 9.6.61.21 is the Redundancy Management IP Address of WLC 1. In order to configure from NCS, go to Operate > Device Work Center, and select the controller by clicking on the checkbox in front of the device on which HA should be configured. Once selected, click the Configuration tab, which provides all the options needed to configure the WLC 1, and repeat the steps for WLC 2. WLC 1

In order to configure the HA parameters for WLC 1, go to Redundancy > Global Configuration, enter the Redundancy and Peer RedundancyManagement IP address, and click Save.

WLC 2

In order to configure the HA parameters for WLC 2, go to Redundancy > Global Configuration, enter the Redundancy and Peer RedundancyManagement IP address, and click Save.

4. Configure one WLC as Primary and the other WLC as Secondary from the Redundant Unit dropdown list. In this example, WLC 1 is configured as Primary and WLC 2 is configured as Secondary. Once configured, click Save. WLC 1

WLC 2

5. After the WLCs are configured with Redundancy Management and Peer Redundancy Management IP Address, and the Redundant Units are configured, it is time to enable SSO. Once SSO is enabled, it will reboot the WLCs. While booting, the WLCs negotiate the HA role as per configuration via Redundant Port. If the WLCs cannot reach each other via the Redundant Port or via the Redundant Management Interface, the WLC configured as secondary may go in to Maintenance Mode. Maintenance Mode is discussed later in this document. 6. Check the Enabled checkbox, in order to enable redundancy mode, and click Save. The WLCs will reboot once redundancy mode is enabled. WLC 1

WLC 2

7. Enabling SSO will reboot the WLCs in order to negotiate the HA role as per the configuration performed. Once the role is determined, the configuration is synched from the Active WLC to the Standby WLC via the Redundant Port. Initially WLC configured, as Secondary will report XML mismatch and will download the configuration from Active and reboot again. In the next reboot after role determination, it will validate the configuration again, report no XML mismatch, and process further in order to establish itself as the Standby WLC. These are the bootup logs from both the WLCs: WLC 1

WLC 2 on first reboot after enabling SSO

Note: Once SSO is enabled, the Standby WLC can be accessed via the console connection, SSH/Telnet on the service port, and SSH on the redundant management interface. WLC 2 on second reboot after downloading XML configuration from Active

8. After SSO is enabled followed by the WLC reboot and XML configuration is synched, WLC 1 will transition its state as Active and WLC 2 will transition its state as STANDBY HOT. From this point onwards, the GUI/Telnet/SSH for WLC 2 on the management interface will not work, as all the configurations and management should be done from the Active WLC. If required, the Standby WLC (WLC 2, in this case) can only be managed via the Console or Service Port. Also, once the Peer WLC transitions to the STANDBY Hot state, the Standby keyword is automatically appended to the Standby WLCs prompt name.

9. Once the HA pairing is formed, NCS removes/deletes the WLC 2 entry from its database as both the WLCs have the same management IP address. For the network, it is the one box which is active in the network.

Note: From this image, it is clear that only WLC 1 (with an IP address of 9.6.61.2 and configured as Primary Unit) is active on NCS. WLC 2, which was initially added in NCS with an IP address 9.6.61.3, is deleted from NCS database after HA pairing is formed. 10. In order to check the redundancy state of the Active WLC from NCS, go to Device Details > Redundancy > Redundancy States.

Upgrade the WLC in HA Setup


The Standby WLC cannot be upgraded directly from the TFTP/FTP server. After executing all scripts, the Active WLC transfers the image to the Standby WLC. Once the Standby WLC receives the image from the Active WLC, it starts executing upgrade scripts. All the logs for image transfer and script execution on the Standby WLC can be seen on the Active WLC.

Upgrade Procedure in HA Setup


Complete these steps: 1. After the WLCs are configured in the HA setup, the Standby WLC cannot be upgraded directly from the TFTP/FTP server. 2. Initiate upgrade on the Active WLC in the HA setup via CLI/GUI, and wait for the upgrade to finish. 3. Once the Active WLC executes all the upgrade scripts, it will transfer the entire image to the Standby WLC via the Redundant Port. 4. When the Standby WLC receives the image from the Active WLC, it will start executing the upgrade scripts. The transfer of the image to standby and the execution of the upgrade scripts on the Standby WLC can be seen on the Active WLC Console/Telnet/SSH/Http connection. 5. After a successful message of Standby Upgrade is observed on the Active WLC, it is important to issue the show boot command on the Active WLC in order to make sure the new image is set as the primary image. 6. Once verified, initiate primary image predownload on the Active WLC in order to transfer the new image to all the APs in the network. 7. After preimage is completed on all the APs, issue the show ap image all command in order to verify that the primary image on the WLC is set as the backup image on APs. 8. Initiate swap option to interchange the backup image as primary on the APs. With this implementation, the WLC's and AP's primary image is set to the new image. 9. Issue the reset system in command as per planned outage with the no swap option in order to reset the APs and WLCs so that they can boot with the new image.

10. The Standby WLC will reset just one minute before the scheduled reset time to boot and come up first to take over the network with the new image. 11. All the APs will reboot and join the new Active WLC, and the previous Active WLC will transition to the standby role. 12. Issue the show boot, show sysinfo, show ap image all, and show redundancy summary commands in order to verify that both the WLCs and APs have booted with the new image.

Important Guidelines before Initiating a WLC Upgrade in HA Setup


Service Upgrade is not supported in this release, so network downtime should be planned before you upgrade the WLCs in the HA setup. The peer should be in the Hot Standby state before you start the upgrade in the HA setup. It is recommended to reboot both the WLCs almost together after upgrade so that there is no software version mismatch. Schedule Reset applies to both the WLCs in the HA setup. The peer WLC reboots one minute before the scheduled timer expiry on the Active WLC. The Standby WLC can be rebooted from the Active WLC using the reset peersystem command if a scheduled reset is not planned. Debug transfer can be enabled on the Active WLC as well as the Standby WLC.

Download/Upload Facts in HA Setup


No direct download and upload configuration is possible from the Standby WLC. All download file types like Image, Configuration, WebAuthentication bundle, and Signature Files will be downloaded on the Active WLC first and then pushed automatically to the Standby WLC. Once the configuration file is downloaded on the Active WLC, it is pushed to the Standby WLC. This results in the reset of the Standby WLC first, followed by the reset of the Active WLC. The Peer Service Port and Static route configuration is a part of a different XML file, and will not be applied if downloaded as part of the configuration file. The download of certificates should be done separately on each box and should be done before pairing. Uploading different file types like Configuration, Event Logs, Crash files, and so forth can be done separately from the Standby WLC. However, the CLI to configure different parameters for upload like Server IP, file type, path and name should be done on the Active WLC. Once the upload parameters are configured on the Active WLC, the transfer upload peerstart command should be issued on the Active WLC in order to initiate the upload from the Standby WLC. The service port state will be synched from the Active WLC to the Standby WLC. That is, if DHCP is enabled on the Active WLC service port, the Standby WLC will also use DHCP for getting the service port IP address. If the service port of the Active WLC is configured with a Static IP Address, the Standby WLC also needs to be configured with a different Static IP Address. The CLI to configure the IP Address for the Standby WLC service port is configure redundancy interface address peerserviceport <IP Address > . This command should be executed from the Active WLC. Also, in order to configure the route on the Standby WLC for outofband management on the service port, issue the configure redundancy peerroute add <Network IP Address > <IP Mask> <Gateway> command from the Active WLC.

Failover Process in the HA Setup


In the HA setup, the AP's CAPWAP state in maintained on the Active WLC as well as the Standby WLC (only for APs which are in a Run state). That is, Up Time and Association Up Time is maintained on both the WLC, and when switchover is initiated, the Standby WLC takes over the network. In this example, WLC 1 is in an Active state and serving the network, and WLC 2 is in a Standby state monitoring the Active WLC. Although WLC 2 is in Standby state, it still maintains the CAPWAP state of the AP.

WLC 1

WLC 2

Failover for WLCs in HA setup can be categorized into two different sections: Box Failover In the case of Box Failover (that is, the Active WLC crashes / system hang / manual reset / force switchover), the direct command is sent from the Active WLC via the Redundant Port as well as from the Redundant Management Interface to the Standby WLC to take over the network. This may take 5100 msec depending on the number of APs in the network. In the case of power failure on the Active WLC or some crash where the direct command for switchover cannot be sent, it may take 350500 msec depending on the number of APs in network. The time it takes for failover in case of power failure on an Active Box also depends on the keep alive timer configured on the WLC (configured for 100 msec by default). The algorithm it takes to decide the failover is listed here: The Standby WLC sends keep alive to the Active WLC and expects and acknowledgment within 100 msec as per the default timer. This can be configured in range from 100400 msec. If there is no acknowledgment of keep alive within 100 msec, the Standby WLC immediately sends an ICMP message to the Active WLC via the redundant management interface in order to check if it is a box failover or some issue with Redundant Port connection. If there is no response to the ICMP message, the Standby WLC gets aggressive and immediately sends another keep alive message to the Standby WLC and expects an acknowledgment in 25% less time (that is, 75 msec or 25% less of 100 msec). If there is no acknowledgment of keep alive within 75 msec, the Standby WLC immediately sends another ICMP message to the Active WLC via the redundant management interface. Again, if there is no response for the second ICMP message, the Standby WLC gets more aggressive and immediately sends another keep alive message to the Standby WLC and expects an acknowledgment in time further 25% of actual timer less from last keep alive timer (that is, 50 msec or last keep alive timer of 75 msec 25% less of 100 msec). If there is no acknowledgment of the third keep alive packet within 50 msec, the Standby WLC immediately sends another ICMP message to the Active WLC via the redundant management interface.

Finally, if there is no response from the third ICMP packet, the Standby WLC declares the Active WLC is dead and assumes the role of the Active WLC. Network Failover In the case of a Network Failover (that is, the Active WLC cannot reach its gateway for some reason), it may take 34 seconds for a complete switchover depending on the number of APs in the network.

Steps to Simulate Box Failover


Complete these steps: 1. Complete the steps as explained in the configuration section in order to configure HA between two WLCs, and make sure before force switchover is initiated that both the WLCs are paired up as the Active WLC and the Standby WLC. For WLC 1:

For WLC 2, go to Console connection:

2. Associate an AP to the WLC and check the status of the AP on both the WLCs. In the HA setup, a mirror copy of the AP database is maintained on both the WLCs. That is, APs CAPWAP state in maintained on Active as well as Standby WLC (only for APs which are in Run state) and when switchover is initiated, the Standby WLC takes over the network. In this example, WLC 1 is an Active WLC, WLC 2 is in a Standby state, and the AP database is maintained on both the WLCs. WLC 1

WLC 2

3. Create an open WLAN and associate a client to it. The client database is not synched on the Standby WLC, so the client entry will not be present on the Standby WLC. Once the WLAN is created on the Active WLC, it will also be synched to the Standby WLC via the Redundant Port. WLC 1

WLC 2

4. Issue the redundancy forceswitchover command on the Active WLC. This command will trigger a manual switchover where the Active WLC will reboot and the Standby WLC will take over the network. In this case, the client on the Active WLC will be deauthenticated and join back on the new Active WLC. WLC 1

WLC 2

Note: Observe that the prompt in this example changed from 5508Standby to 5508. This is because this WLC is now the Active WLC and the time taken for AP switchover is 1 msec. WLC 2

Note: Observe the AP CAPWAP State on WLC 2, which was the Standby WLC initially and is now the Active WLC after switchover. AP Up Time as well as Association Up Time is maintained, and the AP did not go in to the discovery state. These matrixes provide a clear picture of what condition the WLC Switchover will trigger: Network Issues

RP Port Status

Peer Gateway Gateway Reachable Reachable Reachable via Switchover from from Redundant Active Standby Management Yes Yes Yes No

Results

Up

Up

Yes

Yes

No

No

No Action Standby will reboot and check for gateway reachability. Will go in to maintenance mode if still not reachable. Switchover happens No Action No Action Standby will reboot and check for gateway reachability. Will go in to maintenance mode if still not reachable. Switchover happens Standby will reboot and check for gateway reachability. Will go in to maintenance mode if still not reachable. Standby will reboot and check for gateway reachability. Will go in to maintenance

Up Up Up

Yes Yes No

No No Yes

Yes No Yes

Yes No No

Up

No

Yes

No

No

Up

No

No

Yes

Yes

Up

No

No

No

No

Up

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

mode if still not reachable. Standby will reboot and check for gateway reachability. Will go in to maintenance mode if still not reachable. Standby will reboot and check for gateway reachability. Will go in to maintenance mode if still not reachable. Standby will reboot and check for gateway reachability. Will go in to maintenance mode if still not reachable. Switchover happens and this may result in Network Conflict Standby will reboot and check for gateway reachability. Will go in to maintenance mode if still not reachable. Switchover happens

Down

Yes

Yes

No

No

Down

Yes

No

Yes

No

Down

Yes

No

No

No

Down

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Down

No

Yes

No

No

Down

No

No

Yes

Yes

Down

No

No

No

No

Standby will reboot and check for gateway reachability. Will go in to maintenance mode if still not reachable.

System Issues Trigger RP Port Status Peer Reachable via Switchover Redundant Management No No Yes Yes

Result

CP Crash DP Crash System Hang Manual Reset Force Switchover CP Crash DP Crash System Hang Manual Reset Force Switchover CP Crash

Yes Yes

Switchover happens Switchover happens Switchover happens Switchover happens Switchover happens Switchover happens Switchover happens Switchover happens Switchover happens Switchover happens As Updated in Network Issue section As Updated in Network Issue section As Updated

Yes Yes Yes No No

No No No Yes Yes

Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

No No No No

Yes Yes Yes No

Yes Yes Yes Yes

DP Crash

No

No

Yes

System

No

No

Yes

Hang

in Network Issue section As Updated in Network Issue section As Updated in Network Issue section

Manual Reset

No

No

Yes

Force Switchover

No

No

Yes

HA Facts
HA Pairing is possible only between the same type of hardware and software versions. Mismatch may result in Maintenance Mode. The Virtual IP Address should be the same on both the WLCs before configuring AP SSO. Direct connectivity is recommended between the Active and Standby Redundant Port for 5500/7500/8500 Series of WLCs. WiSM2 WLCs should be in same 6500 chassis or can be installed in VSS setup for reliable performance. A physical connection between Redundant Port and Infrastructure Network should be done prior to HA configuration. The Primary units MAC should be used as Mobility MAC in the HA setup in order to form a mobility peer with another HA setup or independent controller. You also have the flexibility to configure a custom MAC address, which can be used as a Mobility MAC address using the configure redundancy mobilitymac <custom mac address> command. Once configured, you should use this MAC address to form a mobility peer instead of using the system MAC address. Once HA is configured, this MAC cannot be changed. It is recommended that you use DHCP address assignment for the service port in the HA setup. After HA is enabled, if the static IP is configured for service port, WLC loses the service port IP and it has to be configured again. When AP SSO is enabled, there is no SNMP/GUI access on the service port for both the WLCs in the HA setup. Configurations like changing virtual IP address, enabling secureweb mode, configuring web auth proxy, and so forth need a WLC reboot in order to get implemented. In this case, a reboot of the Active WLC will also trigger a simultaneous reboot of the Standby WLC. When AP SSO is disabled on the Active WLC, it will be pushed to the Standby WLC. After reboot, all the ports will come up on the Active WLC and will be disabled on the Standby WLC. Keep alive and Peer Discovery timers should be left with default timer values for better performance. Clear configuration on the Active WLC will also initiate clear configuration on the Standby WLC. Internal DHCP is not supported when AP SSO is enabled. SSO for LSC AP is not supported. L2 MGID is synched, but the L3 MGID database is cleared with SSO. After a primary WLC reboots, it becomes the Standby WLC and does not become primary until the next failover.

Maintenance Mode
There are few scenarios where the Standby WLC may go into Maintenance Mode and not be able to communicate with the network and peer:

Non reachability to Gateway via Redundant Management Interface WLC with HA SKU which had never discovered peer Redundant Port is down Software version mismatch (WLC which boots up first goes into active mode and the other WLC in Maintenance Mode)

Note: The WLC should be rebooted in order to bring it out of Maintenance Mode. Only the Console and Service Port is active in Maintenance Mode.

AP SSO Deployment with Legacy Primary/Secondary/Tertiary HA


HA (that is, AP SSO) can be deployed with Secondary and Tertiary Controllers just like today. Both Active and Standby WLCs combined in the HA setup should be configured as primary WLC. Only on failure of both Active and Standby WLCs in the HA setup will the APs fall back to Secondary and further to Tertiary WLCs.

AP SSO Deployment in Mobility Setup


Each WLC has its own unique MAC address, which is used in mobility configuration with an individual controller management IP address. In HA (that is, AP SSO) setup, both the WLCs (Primary and Standby)

have their own unique MAC address. In the event of failure of the Primary box and Standby takes over the network if the MAC address of the Primary box is used on another controllers in mobility setup, control path and data path will be down and user has to manually change the MAC to standby MAC address on all the controllers in mobility setup. This is a really cumbersome process as a lot of manual intervention is required. In order to keep the mobility network stable without any manual intervention and in the event of failure or switchover, the backandforth concept of Mobility MAC has been introduced. When the HA pair is set up, by default, the Primary WLC's MAC address is synched as the Mobility MAC address on the Standby WLC which can be seen via the show redundancy summary command on both the controllers.

In this output, captured from a Standby controller, the Mobility MAC address can be observed, which is different from the Standbys own MAC address seen as Unit ID. This MAC address is synched from the Active WLC and should be used in mobility configuration. With this implementation, if the Active WLC goes down or even if it is replaced, the Mobility MAC address is still available and active on the Standby WLC and the mobility tunnels will always stay up. In case the new controller is introduced in the network because of the replacement of the previous Active WLC, it will transition its state as Standby and the same Mobility MAC address is synched again to the new Standby WLC. You have the flexibility to configure a custom MAC address as Mobility MAC instead of using the default behavior of using the Active WLC MAC address as Mobility MAC. This can be done using the configure redundancy mobilitymac <custom mac address> command on the Active WLC. Once configured, you should use this MAC address on other controllers in order to form a mobility peer instead of using the Active WLC MAC address. This MAC address should be configured before forming the HA pair. Once the HA pair is formed, the Mobility MAC cannot be changed or edited.

In this topology, the Primary and Standby have their own MAC address. With HA pairing, the Active WLC MAC address is synched as a Mobility MAC address, which is the default behavior if a custom MAC is not configured before HA pairing. Once the Active WLC MAC address is synched as the Mobility MAC address, the same MAC is used in mobility configuration on all the controllers in the mobility setup.

Licensing for HA Pair


A HA Pair can be established between two WLCs running in these combinations: One WLC has a valid AP Count license and the other WLC has a HA SKU UDI Both the WLCs have a valid AP Count license One WLC has an Evaluation license and the other WLC has a HA SKU UDI or Permanent license

One WLC has a valid AP Count license and the other WLC has a HA SKU UDI
HA SKU is a new SKU with a Zero AP Count License. The device with HA SKU becomes Standby the first time it pairs up. APcount license info will be pushed from Active to Standby. On event of Active failure, HA SKU will let APs join with APcount obtained and will start 90day countdown. The granularity of this is in days. After 90days, it starts nagging messages. It will not disconnect connected APs. With new WLC coming up, HA SKU at the time of paring will get the AP Count: If the new WLC has a higher AP count than the previous, the 90day counter is reset. If the new WLC has a lower AP count than the previous, the 90day counter is not reset. In order to lower AP count after switchover, the WLC offset timer will continue and nagging messages will be displayed after time expiry. Elapsed time and APcount will be remembered on reboot.

The factory default HASKU controller should not allow any APs to join.

Both the WLCs have a valid AP Count license


The CLI should be used to configure one WLC as the Standby WLC (as mentioned in the configuration section) provided it satisfies the requirement of minimum permanent license count. This condition is only valid for the 5500 WLC, where a minimum of 50 AP Permanent licenses are needed to be converted to Standby. There is no restriction for other WLCs such as the WiSM2, 7500, and 8500. APcount license information will be pushed from Active to Standby. In the event of a switchover, the new Active WLC will operate with the license count of the previous Active WLC and will start the 90day countdown. The WLC configured as Secondary will not use its own installed license, and only the inherited license from the active will be utilized. After 90days, it starts nagging messages. It will not disconnect connected APs. With the new WLC coming up, HA SKU at the time of paring will get the AP Count: If the new WLC has a higher AP count than the previous, the 90day counter is reset. If the new WLC has a lower AP count than the previous, the 90day counter is not reset. After switchover to a lower AP count, the WLC offset timer will continue and nagging messages will be displayed after time expiry.

One WLC has an Evaluation license and the other WLC has a HA SKU UDI or Permanent license
The device with HA SKU becomes the Standby WLC the first time it pairs up with an existing Active WLC running Evaluation License. Or, any WLC running a permanent license count can be configured as the Secondary unit using the CLI configuration provided if it satisfies the requirement of minimum permanent license count. This condition is only valid for the 5500 WLC, where a minimum of 50 AP Permanent licenses are needed to be converted to Standby. There is no restriction for other WLCs such as the WiSM2, 7500, and 8500. APcount license information will be pushed from Active to Standby. In the event of a switchover, the new Active WLC will operate with the license count of the previous Active WLC and start the 90day countdown. After 90days, it starts nagging messages. It will not disconnect connected APs. With new the WLC coming up, HA SKU at the time of paring will get the AP Count: If the new WLC has a higher AP count than the previous, the 90day counter is reset. If the new WLC has a lower AP count than the previous, the 90day counter is not reset. After switchover to a lower AP count, the WLC offset timer will continue and nagging messages will be displayed after time expiry.

Glossary
AP SSO Access Point Stateful Switchover where the CAPWAP state for each AP is maintained on the Active and Standby WLCs, and the CAPWAP state is retained after switchover to the Standby WLC. An AP need not go through CAPWAP discovery and join the process after failover. Client SSO Wireless Client Stateful Switchover where the client state is also maintained on the Active and Standby WLCs, and the wireless clients are not deauthenticated after switchover. This will be supported in a future release.

Redundancy Port Physical Port on the 5500/7500/8500 WLC for HA role negotiation, configuration sync, and redundancy messages between the Active and Standby WLCs. Redundancy VLAN VLAN created on the Catalyst 6500 Sup for WiSM2 Redundancy Port that is connected to the Catalyst 6k backplane in order to exchange configuration and redundancy messages including HA role negotiation between the Active and Standby WLCs. Redundancy Management Interface A parallel interface to the management interface on both the WLCs in the HA setup. Should be in the same subnet as the management interface. This interface lets the Standby WLC interact with infra network and also exchange some redundancy messages over infra network between the Active and Standby WLCs. Active WLC This is the WLC which is currently active in the HA pair and is taking care of the wireless network. APs establish a single CAPWAP tunnel with the Active WLC. Standby WLC This is the WLC that is monitoring the active controller in the HA pair, and is ready to take over the wireless network in the event of Active WLC failure. Peer AP SSO is a boxtobox redundancy (that is, 1:1) so both the WLCs (Active and Standby) in the HA setup are peers to each other. Primary Unit In AP SSO deployment, the controller running the higher permanent count licenses should be configured as the Primary unit. The Primary Unit is the WLC, which will take the role of the Active WLC the first time it forms a HA pair. The Primary Unit sends the license count information to its peer via the Redundant Port. Secondary Unit In AP SSO deployment, the controller running lower or equal permanent count licenses should be configured as the Secondary Unit or the controller with HA SKU UDI (zero ap count license) is shipped default as Secondary Unit. The Secondary Unit is the WLC, which will take the role of the Standby WLC the first time it forms a HA pair. The Secondary Unit inherits the license count information from its peer(that is, the Active WLC) via the Redundant Port. Maintenance Mode When the Standby WLC cannot communicate to the gateway or cannot discover the peer WLC (that is, the Active WLC) via the Redundant Port, it goes in to Maintenance Mode. In this mode, the WLC cannot communicate to the infra network and will not participate in the HA process. Since the WLC in Maintenance Mode does not participate in the HA process, it needs to be manually rebooted in order to bring it out of Maintenance Mode and participate in the HA process again. Mobility MAC A unique MAC address shared between peers in the HA setup. This MAC address should be used to form a mobility pair between the HA setup and another WLC in the HA setup or with independent controllers. By default, the Active WLC MAC address is shared as the Mobility MAC address, but Mobility MAC can also be manually configured on the Active WLC using a CLI, which will be shared between peers in the HA setup. KeepAliveTimer In the HA setup, the Standby WLC sends keepalive packets on the Redundancy Port in order to check the health of the Active WLC. With no acknowledgment of three keepalive packets from the Active WLC, the Standby WLC declares the Active WLC as dead and takes over the network. PeerSearchTimer While booting, the Standby WLC waits for the peer search timer (default of 2 minutes) in order to discover the peer. If the WLC cannot discover its peer within this time, it will transition its state to Maintenance Mode.

Related Information
Technical Support & Documentation Cisco Systems

Contacts & Feedback | Help | Site Map 2012 2013 Cisco Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. Terms & Conditions | Privacy Statement | Cookie Policy | Trademarks of Cisco Systems, Inc.

Updated: Sep 04, 2012

Document ID: 113681